Drinkers will be banned from the pub if they forget their phones, hairdressers will bring their salon to you – and rebellious shops and restaurants will flout compulsory vaccination rules.
Leading lights of the Sydney business world have painted a picture of what life will look like when New South Wales hits its vaccination target of 70 per cent and opens up again in mid-to-late October.
Under Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s roadmap announced this week, only the vaccinated are supposed to be able to visit hairdressers, pubs, restaurants and gyms.
The new freedoms will kick in the Monday after the state hits its target. Restrictions are likely to ease further when NSW reaches 80 per cent double-vaxxed.
Businesses are now looking to the future to figure out just what the new world order will look like. As Daily Mail Australia found, many businesses are innovating and are grappling with how to follow the new rules.
But others believe they will have no choice but to rebel – with a Facebook group called ‘Businesses ALL Welcome Jabbed or NOT Jabbed Australia-Wide’ reaching nearly 100,000 members before it mysteriously vanished.
Joh Bailey’s famed Double Bay salon was forced to shut its doors in June when a hairdresser caught Covid. Now the stylists have announced they will come directly to clients’ homes – plus welcome five customers into the store
Hairdressers at home
Marilyn Koch, the co-founder Sydney’s popular Joh Bailey salons in the city’s east, said her clients are ‘desperate’ to see hairdressers
Marilyn Koch, the co-founder of iconic Sydney hair salon Joh Bailey, said they will be opening their doors to five customers at a time in line with the government cap.
But they have a clever plan to shampoo, blow dry and style as many customers as possible come Freedom Day.
Vaccinated Joh Bailey stylists will make home visits to vaccinated customers in an initiative dubbed ‘Love is in the Hair’.
‘Our clients are desperate,’ Ms Koch told Daily Mail Australia.
‘(Getting to the hairdresser is) all everybody talks about. I get messages every single day – hundreds of them.’
Ms Koch said the company had to think outside the square to keep their clients happy, her staff employed, the business profitable and abide by the rules.
Joh Bailey’s Double Bay salon was the site of a Covid scare earlier this year when a stylist became infected, forcing more than a thousand people into isolation.
Workers are seen above blasting Joh Bailey salon furniture with disinfectant following the scare earlier this year
Now, staff are looking forward to opening up on the other side of lockdown.
‘We’ll do as many as we can,’ Ms Koch said.
‘I think I am going to be flooded and I’m not going to be able to fit everybody in.’
Rami Ykmour, founder of the popular Rashays eateries, said Gladys Berejiklian’s roadmap out of Covid lockdown was as ‘clear as mud’. Mr Ykmour is above with his partner
Rami Ykmour, the founder of popular eatery Rashays, slammed the Premier’s roadmap as ‘a dog’s breakfast… clear as mud’.
Mr Ykmour’s company has 30 outlets around the country, 26 of them in New South Wales.
He’s been looking forward to opening up back up for months – but said the roadmap has led to new uncertainties.
Mr Ykmour was most concerned about his restaurants getting caught up in local area lockdowns.
Hospitality businesses like his rely on systems for acquiring produce, preparing perishable food and staff rostering which would all be put at risk if his restaurant was in a hotspot.
‘We’re divided area by area. There’s nothing like it going around the world,’ Mr Ykmour fumed.
‘It’s easier to get around the European Union.’
Then there is the issue of only allowing vaccinated people through the front door – a measure which is unpopular with many of Mr Ykmour’s customers.
‘I’ve got customers reaching out saying I’ve been a customer for 23 years, are you going to accept me or reject me?’ he said.
‘What am I going to say to that customer?’
Mr Ykmour said he was already acting as a psychologist to his young staff who are grappling with lockdown.
Now he may have to act as a policeman, checking customers’ vaccination status.
‘I’ve welcomed everyone from day one,’ Mr Ykmour said.
‘And I will continue welcoming everyone.’
Rashays has 30 restaurants around Australia including 26 in NSW which will come under the Covid rules
The new ‘most important’ staff member at every pub and licensed club
When Covid hit in March 2020, Sydney’s oldest pub, the Fortune of War in The Rocks, was hit with a quadruple whammy: lockdown, no cruise ships, tourists or office workers.
The business was just getting back on its feet when the pub was forced to close eleven weeks ago, and the owner says ‘Freedom Day’ means starting from scratch again.
Steven Speed said one of the biggest changes will be having a full-time staff member at the door checking patrons’ vaccination status.
‘That person at that door now is probably the most critical position in the whole business,’ Mr Speed said.
The doorman will now be there seven days, open until close – and not just for when the pub is heaving on weekends or at night.
Publican Steven Speed runs the Fortune of War in Sydney’s The Rocks district. The pub was hit by a quadruple whammy when Covid hit in March 2020 with no cruise ships, tourists, office workers and a lockdown. Now he and staff are looking to open up
The Fortune of War hotel – Sydney’s oldest pub – was just getting back on its feet when it was forced back into lockdown eleven weeks ago. Now publican Steven Speedy is looking to the future
People who forget their phones will have to be refused entry, he said.
‘That person at that door now is probably the most critical position in the whole business
Publican Steven Speed on the doorman
Mr Speed was thankful customers won’t have to wear masks under the rules, only hospitality staff, although he said having workers wearing them outside would prove challenging.
The big issue will be what happens if an infected, vaccinated customer rocks up for a beer. Health authorities are yet to clarify future isolation rules.
‘Does everyone have to quarantine for 14 days? Do we then have to shut down again?
‘We’re all stocked, loaded up, ready to roll, we’ve got a full complement of staff – does that mean we have to isolate?’
Roadmap to freedom: All the changes for fully vaccinated NSW residents after hitting 70% jab target
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s freedom plan will kick off after the state hits 70 per cent of adults double dosed
Gatherings in the home and public spaces
· Up to five visitors will be allowed in a home where all adults are vaccinated (not including children 12 and under).
· Up to 20 people can gather in outdoor settings.
Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms
· Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
· Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule (unvaccinated people will continue to only be able to access critical retail).
· Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
· Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
· Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.
Stadiums, theatres and major outdoor recreation facilities
· Major recreation outdoor facilities including stadiums, racecourses, theme parks and zoos can reopen with one person per 4sqm, capped at 5,000 people.
· Up to 500 people can attend ticketed and seated outdoor events.
· Indoor entertainment and information facilities including cinemas, theatres, music halls, museums and galleries can reopen with one person per 4sqm or 75 per cent fixed seated capacity.
Weddings, funerals and places of worship
· Up to 50 guests can attend weddings, with dancing permitted and eating and drinking only while seated.
· Up to 50 guests can attend funerals, with eating and drinking while seated.
· Churches and places of worship to open subject to one person per 4sqm rule, with no singing.
· Domestic travel, including trips to regional NSW, will be permitted.
· Caravan parks and camping grounds can open.
· Carpooling will be permitted.
Non-vaccinated young people aged under 16 will be able to access all outdoor settings but will only be able to visit indoor venues with members of their household.
Employers must continue to allow employees to work from home if the employee is able to do so.
There will be revised guidance on isolation for close and casual contacts who are fully vaccinated, with details to be provided closer to the reopening date.
· Masks will remain mandatory for all indoor public venues, including public transport, front-of-house hospitality, retail and business premises, on planes and at airports.
· Only hospitality staff will be required to wear a mask when outdoors.
· Children aged under 12 will not need to wear a mask indoors.